Mohammed Koysor Ahmed, disqualified as a director for 6 years, failed to account to HMRC and breached food and hygiene regulations.

Mr Ahmed, who was the director of Sonargaon Indian Cuisine Limited, has been disqualified, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

On 15 February 2016, Mr Ahmed signed a disqualification undertaking which bans him from being a company director and from being involved in the management of a limited company in any way for a period of six years from 7 March 2016.

The business, an Indian restaurant, went into liquidation on 24 April 2014 owing 303,132 to creditors.

The matters of unfitness which Mr Ahmed admitted for the purposes of the undertaking were:

He failed to ensure that Sonargaon Indian Cuisine Limited accounted properly and accurately in accounting to HMRC regarding its PAYE and NIC liabilities.

Following a visit from HMRC Officers on 10 September 2013, during which it was determined that Sonargaon had failed to accurately report wages paid to its employees, HMRC requested further information from the company. None was supplied and in its absence, HMRC calculated under-declared PAYE/NIC of 101,405.49. An additional penalty of 67,434 was levied due to the deliberate under-declaration.

Mr Ahmed additionally failed to ensure that Sonargaon Indian Cuisine Limited complied with European Community food and hygiene regulations on two occasions. At a visit by Food Hygiene Officers on 11 October 2011, it was determined that Sonargaon had contravened six regulations which put its customers at risk of food poisoning. Mr Ahmed pleaded guilty to this violation at Court and the company was fined 3,655.

A further visit was conducted on 25 May 2012 at which five further contraventions of the same regulations were found. On 20 August 2012 Sonargaon was found guilty of these and fined 30,000 plus costs of 3315. Only 1,750 was paid toward these fines and HM Courts service submitted a claim in the liquidation of 35,220 for the remaining amount.

Commenting on the disqualification, Mark Bruce, Chief Examiner for Insolvent Investigations South at the Insolvency Service, said:

This director sought an unfair advantage over their competitors by not declaring accurately its liabilities due to HMRC and by cutting corners with its hygiene and food safety practices.

The Insolvency Service rigorously investigates directors who breach legislation, particularly where customers health is put at risk, and this ban should act as a warning to other employers who are flouting the law.

Directors who also seek to obtain commercial advantage over their competitors show a total disregard for the business community generally.